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Arts & Letters

Good NEWS for Spring, 2010 



Pat Chirapravati presented a paper at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies (“Chanting for the Dead: Illustrations of the Pansukula Ceremony in Thai Manuscripts,” to be published by Cambridge UP) and has two books in progress, Funeral Cultures: Studies of Images and Texts in Thai andManuscrit medical thailandaise, concerning a Thai Divination Manuscript in the Bodmer Museum in Geneva (Presses Universitaires de France).

Rachel Clarke is working on a collaborative project commissioned for the new wing of the Crocker Art Museum.  "Crocker Mosaic" is an animation, with music composed by Stephen Blumberg (Department of Music). Rachel notes that it is “made up of images submitted by the community and will be screened in one of the entrances of the new building, to begin on the opening gala.” 

Tom Decker organized a visiting artists' workshop at Sacramento State for Tae  Sung Yong and Bang Ho Sik, two Korean potters, during this year’s Festival of the Arts. He also was one of forty-two artists whose ceramic artwork was juried into  "Objects of Virtue, A National Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics”, in the Bedford Gallery at the Dean Lesher Center for the Arts in  Walnut Creek, CA.

Ian Harvey and his wife, Koo Kyung Sook, will be the subject of a feature article in the May/June issue of the L.A. based magazine, Art Ltd. (, following their recent show of collaborative work in JayJay Gallery, which was the subject of an article by Victoria Dalkey in the Sacramento Bee.  Their work also will be shown at the San Francisco Art Fair at the end of the May.

Evri Kwong had a solo art exhibition at the Sandra Lee Gallery in San Francisco. He also is the recipient of a 2010 Sacramento State President's Faculty Development Grant for his forthcoming solo art exhibition at Gallery Godo in Seoul, Korea, and he will be participating in the 2010 Teaching and Learning Institute.

Work by students of Scott Parady was exhibited at the 21st annual California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art in Davis (April 30-May 2). Over forty-two colleges were represented at the conference this year, according to its website ( )


Julian Heather, Mi-Suk Seo, Marie Helt, and Reiko Komiyama are the recipients of 2010-2011 Pedagogy Enhancement Grants.

Mi-Suk Seo has been awarded a RCA Capstone Award of $1,000 in professional development support for 2010-11.

George Mason University asked Karen Levy to publish one of the vignettes from her memoir in their literary journal, So To Speak.


Wings of Desire by Doug Rice has been translated into Polish by Piotr Siewecki and published by Minimal Books as Skrdla Pzadania.  

"Reading Donne's 'Valediction of the booke'" by Julie Yen was published in the John Donne Journal (Vol. 28, 2009).

"The Dead Book" by Jane Churchon (undergraduate in creative writing) was selected for The Best American Essays 2010, edited by Christopher Hitchens.  

Foreign Languages

Barbara Carle will visit Italy to conduct readings as well as answer questions about her latest book at both an elementary school in Formia and a secondary school, Liceco Ginnasio Statale Virtuvio.  This trip also includes a formal presentation of her book at the Sala degli Specchi (Room of Mirrors) in Frascati on May 21st (outside of Rome). Critics will present it and she will also give a talk and read. Please see the link for announcement of the Frascati Poetry Association:


Stephen Blumberg is currently composing a soundtrack for a project commissioned by the Crocker Art Museum for the opening of the new building called "Crocker Mosaic” in collaboration with electronic media artist Rachel Clarke (Department of Art).  It’s an animation made up of images submitted by the community, and it will be screened in one of the entrances of the new building, to begin at the opening gala.  Blumberg was also awarded a sabbatical for spring 2011.

In January, Richard Cionco performed a solo piano recital in Hong Kong and gave eight master classes, one of which took place at the prestigious Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts.  He also gave two lectures while there and has been invited back in August. In March, Cionco performed chamber music for piano and cello in Mendocino, a program that contained two of his own arrangements of works by Rachmaninov and Ponce. And, in April Cionco gave a lecture-recital in Moraga on the piano works of Alexander Scriabin for the music teachers of the Bay Area, sponsored by the U.S. Open International Music Competition as well as adjudicated at the annual Reno Youth Music Festival in Nevada.

Conductor Robert Halseth accepted an invitation to travel to Singapore in August to work with musicians there for a local music festival. 

Don Kendrick was honored with a formal resolution from the Mayor and City Council of the City of Sacramento celebrating his 25 years working on the campus and in the community.  KVIE Television is making a 30-minute documentary on Kendrick’s role in the community as a conductor.  He is also a semi-finalist for the American Prize in Conducting. 

Deborah Pittman taught a workshop for teachers to coincide with the “Spirit of Uganda” performance at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis in February. Pittman also played the Brahms Quintet for clarinet and String Quartet with the Sun Quartet at the Hillside Club in Berkeley and Sacramento State.  This performance will be repeated at the Chamber Musicians of Northern California at the College of Marin in June 2010. Pittman also performed the Bruch Double Concerto for clarinet and viola with violist, Lynne Richburg and the Orchestra at the Concerts at All Hallows.  Pittman will perform Michael Dougherty’sBrooklyn Bridge for solo clarinet and Wind Ensemble with Robert Halseth and the Sacramento State Symphonic Wind Ensemble-, with a repeat performance in November with the UC Davis Concert Band.  She plans to also attend the Carnegie Hall “LinkUp” conference in New York, for a partnership with the Ovation Academy (Orchestral and Vocal Arts Training, Innovation and Outreach for NorCal. 

Laurel Zucker was contacted by Clear Note Publishers ( to publish all of her original compositions. In addition Zucker was a featured performer along with violinist, Gil Shaham, in April 2010 on WNYC Radio in New York City for a Performance Today Broadcast on NPR throughout the nation.

The Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards gave the following honors to Sacramento State: 

•    Melissa Fulkerson received an award for Outstanding College Jazz Vocal Soloist.

•    Derrick Koelsch received an award for Best Collegiate Jazz Arrangement.

•    Kate Janzen (again!) received an award for Best Collegiate Jazz Arrangement. 

The Sacramento State Jazz Ensemble won the College Division Category at the annual Reno Jazz Festival.  The Sacramento State Jazz Combo placed 4th.

Graduate student, Nga-Man Cho performed several of her own arrangements for Piano Left Hand as her culminating experience project.

Recent graduate (Fall, 2009) Rudi Hoehn was accepted into the master’s degree program in bass trombone at The Juilliard School for the Fall, 2010 semester. 

Four Sacramento State music students participated in a highly selective intercollegiate band, joining nearly ninety of the stronger college band musicians from eleven states and western Canada on May 4. The Western/Northwestern Intercollegiate Band bi-annually selects top candidates from a pool of hundreds of applicants from more than sixty colleges and universities in eleven states and western Canada.  

Sara Valentine (oboe), Colin Matthewson (trumpet), Robert Murray (tuba), and Jonathan Raman (percussion), all members of the Sacramento State Symphonic Wind Ensemble, traveled to the University of Nevada, Reno, March 10-12, 2010, to participate in the Divisional Conference of the College Band Directors National Association.  Conductor of the band was Tom Duffy, Director of Bands at Yale and current CBDNA president.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Robert Halseth, performed for the "Festivity of Bands" in the Mondavi Center on the campus of UC Davis on March 10.  The highlight of their performance was the composition Angels in the Architecture, by Frank Ticheli, featuring Sacramento State alum Julie Anne Miller as soprano soloist.

Three Sac State students were featured soloists in The Blue Concert on April 14:  Rachel Wilens (trumpet) on Deep Blues, recent graduate Rudi Hoehn (bass trombone) on Blue Topaz, and Meagan Kilpatrick, (piano, class of 2005), who received a standing ovation for her stunning performance of Rhapsody in Blue.  At that same concert, a group of ten players gave the California premiere of James Syler's 2010 commissioned composition, A Blue Streak.  Graduate student Christina Sleigh made her debut with the Symphonic Wind.

Ronda Winters (flute student graduate) was just hired as a professor of flute at Tarleton State University in Stephenville Texas.

Senior clarinet major Nicholas Litwin was accepted at four top conservatories for graduate studies in clarinet.  After a bidding war between three institutions, he accepted an $18,000 scholarship to attend the San Francisco Conservatory in the fall.

The Department of Music participated in the collaboration of the Sacramento Philharmonic with theSacramento News and Review for the Classical Jammies Concerto Competition. Julian Dixon participated in the preliminary judging with Capitol Public Radio host, Kent Teeter.  The Department of Music hosted the public semi-final round with judges Julian Dixon, Ernie Hills, and Claudia Kita.  The Sacramento State Symphony Orchestra was invited along with Leo Eylar to accompany the three finalists and perform an overture in the culminating concert event in the Mondavi Performing Arts Center in Davis. Student violinist Ray Anthony Trujillo, student won first prize and will be performing a solo with the Sacramento Philharmonic next season. 

Theatre & Dance

Department of Theatre and Dance production of Twelfth Night, directed by Michelle Felten, performed to sold-out houses and rave reviews at the Regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Reno, Nevada. 

Student Angela Bolivar was named the Dean’s Award recipient for 2010.

Students Amanda Morish and David Chernyavsky made it to the semi-finals of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition out of 260 competitors at American College Theatre Festival in Reno, Nevada.

Student Jessica Reilly was accepted into MFA Graduate Program in Technical Direction at Northern Illinois University on a full scholarship and stipend.

Recent graduate Inertia DeWitt was accepted into the graduate program at Arizona State University for choreography and Amanda Morish was accepted into MFA program at University of Texas, Austin, on a full scholarship.